Members make several suggestions

Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM: With members by and large sticking to the agenda, several suggestions were made at the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation budget meeting.

MP Sabbam Hari felt that the ‘burden’ (as described by the Opposition) in the form of increased taxes would help improve facilities and it is for the corporators to convince people. He said when he was Mayor the corporation was in no position to provide a tap connection in spite of paying Rs.6,000 as deposit. But now connection was given to the poor on payment of Rs.200. When subsidies were offered, corporation should be in a position to support them. Unless the schemes being offered by the Central and State Government (like JNNURM) were made use of, facilities and development in a fast growing city could not be created, he felt.

More funds sought

TDP deputy floor leader Kona Tata Rao reminded the corporation about the growing water needs and said even now 22 per cent of the area went without protected water. More funds should be given to the pre-school programme ‘Balyam.” Since there were no public toilets, mobile toilets should be deployed.

Co-option member Y.Mariadas recalled that when the port trust did not pay service tax way back in 1970-71 it was realised taking legal recourse. Since Gangavaram port was using the GVMC infrastructure outside the port area, it should also pay service tax, he said. Senapati Vasanta wanted a committee to be appointed for the areas merged in the corporation making it GVMC as committees were appointed on other issues. Koppula Venkata Rao said only GVMC was able to prepare and approve the budget whereas other civic bodies did not take it up so far.

The Mayor said inquiry into the issue of fixing responsibility on the Standing Committee sanctioning solid waste management work was over and it would be taken up at another meeting before February 10. CPI(M)’s Botta Eswaramma and Vimala wanted a discussion on the water tax hike but were told that it could not be taken up in the budget meeting.

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